Monday, August 10, 2009

Apple Pie U.S.A.: The PERFECT Apple Pie -- with NO changes

Ok fine. You got to post first. But I was busy. I didn't even get to take my pie out of the oven! And since I was relying on Natalie to take the pix, and she was with me when it did come out of the oven, I didn't get the magnificence of the pie when it first came out. But man, we had NO trouble getting rid of this pie. It's gone. Sorry girls. It's gone. Maddy and Natalie each ate two pieces last night, with Cassandra, Pete and I each at one slice, and Pete and I devoured the rest when we got home from whale watching. I didn't feel guilty one bit, because I had thrown up every single thing I ate at least four times during the day, so the apple pie is the only thing that will be sticking to my ribs.Yes,Maria, I look at Maida's recipes, think to myself: "Wow, that's a lot of butter. That's a lot of steps, That's a 3 page recipe. I can change this and it will be the same." But I didn't change it. That's not completely true. I changed it a little. I didn't have enough regular sugar, so I had to use half raw sugar. And for the same reason, I had no sugar to dust over the top, so I used cinnamon sugar -- which was a magnificent substitution. But other than those two changes, I did everthing . . . exactly . . like . . . Maida.

Warm day. I froze the bowl. I froze the bowl with flour in it. I froze the Crisco. Crisco. Not some awful trans-fat free Crisco substitute. I used a pastry blender. But then, I love using pastry blenders. I used ice water. I sprinkled and tossed, sprinkled and tossed, sprinkled and tossed. I made TWO crusts. Cassandra meticulously measured my circles to ensure they were exactly 12" in diameter. I laboriously cored and sliced the apples and THEN peeled them, because I find that is the only way to get every speck of peel off the apple. I did use super cheap crappy Granny Smith apples and wished every second I had good apples (apple pie in August probably wasn't a good choice for first recipe.) And I put butter all over those apples. But that second crust just wouldn't fit over the apples. I channeled Julia and talked in a squeaky voice about how it didn't matter what it looked like in the kitchen. Then pulled crust off of places and put it in other places and made some semblance of a decent looking pie. So this is what my pie looked like before it went into the oven:

Pretty ugly. No fluting at all.

Then I used the foil screen for the baking -- which I left Pete in charge of, because I had to go out to the mall to try to find Natalie "cute" golf clothes. Ha! To dream the impossible dream.

When we got back, this is what we found:

BE-A-utiful! Yes, it had sunken a bit. But it was still a spectacular pie, the entire house smelled like apples and cinnamon (and was about 90 degrees because we don't have AC), and I also kept the oven clean by remembering, at the last second, to shove a cookie sheet in under the pie. Thank god!

Pete and I had to immediately leave for a party, and I was so sad to leave that pie. Natalie took care of the first slice photography.

Only thing I would have changed is I would have put the pie on the Blue Minton china . .

When Pete and I got back from the party, less than half of the pie was left. And now, despite the fact that we were gone from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., the pie is GONE!

Pete wants Boysenberry Pie next. Maida doesn't do Boysenberry. But her Blackberry Pie is the most stained, disgusting cookbook page in any cookbook I own.

200 recipes -- two per week. One down. My family was able to dispose of it nicely, despite our obsession with weight.

I think this works great. I'll make the recipe EXACTLY LIKE MAIDA. I can comment on what I would change. You just feel free to change away.

What I would change about this recipe? Absolutely nothing. It was the most perfect apple pie I have ever eaten. And I've eaten a lot of apple pie.

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